Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tales from the Soapbox episode II NETS edition


Ok guys, it’s time for another NETS (Not Enough Terrain Syndrome) post. The Wild West Shootout happened almost 2 weeks ago in Arizona sponsored by Battlefoam. I’d like to give props to Blackmoor for winning the event with footsloggin’ shooty Eldar (OMG!!!), and to the rest of the participants for enduring through a severe outbreak of NETS, plus surviving the worst mission in the history of 40k during which all terrain was removed from the table. Yes, you read that right round 4 of the event was played out on terrain-less tables; what the Hell?

Blackmoors battle reports and pics that speak volumes about the tables.
Wild West Shootout game #1
Wild West Shootout game #2
Wild West Shootout game #3
Wild West Shootout game #4
Wild West Shootout game #5

People paid money to participate in and travel to this event and they get this crap dropped on them. It’s just shameful, that the organizers thought that this was acceptable. The community at large really need to put tournament organizers to task, and stop laying down to be walked upon just to have someone run an event.

I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate all the effort that goes into running an event, because I have first hand knowledge from running my own. I’m saying that is someone is running an event, either do it right or don’t do it at all; especially if you are running an event that is geared for people to travel to it.

I know that sounds harsh and it’s meant to, but 40k has enough problems rules wise in a tournament environment that they should not be compounded by other factors. Never male a paying participant feel cheated by an issue the can be solved through proper planning.

As I said before, I know it’s not cheap to buy and time consuming to build terrain, but being silent about the issue is not going to make the problem better.

Organizers need to man up and ask for help if they need it. If you are light on terrain ask for people to bring some and offer prizes for best table or terrain piece.

It is time for the gamers to make a stand and speak up. Demand better terrain on your tables and make sure that it’s placed well, so every piece of terrain is not on the edges.

You can blame TastyTaste at Blood of Kittens for the proceeding post. He brings up this event in his post about when TO's should release the missions for an event.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Soul Reapers Special rules Mk III



After another dozen games or so, I have settled on the rules that will be moving forward into greater playtesting. Stubborn has been dropped and Fear is for the Weak has been re-written, and added Ancient Enemies.

I have also clarified the Butchers Blade rules in the entry for Titus.

Soul Reapers Special Rules

The models in a Soul Reaper army use a number of special rules that are common to more than one unit, as specified in the entries that follow. Given here are either the details of those rules or where to find them.

Fear is for the weak: Soul Reapers have been in service the Chaos for ten millennia and know that the Dark Gods watch over them.

Soul Reapers never have their leadership reduced by more than –2 Ld as the result of losing an assault. If the Unit loses the assault by more than -2, then immediately take any remaining modifiers as armor saves. They may also attempt to regroup even if the squad has been reduced less than half strength through casualties.


Ancient Enemies: The Soul Reapers have been fighting their loyalist brothers for ten thousand years; they have become accustomed to their combat doctrines.

Soul Reapers are subject to the ‘Ancient Enemies’ rule; models with this rule may re-roll any ones on the hit dice in the assault phase, when fighting any Space Marines loyal to the Emperor. (This rule applies when facing armies built from Codex Space Marines, Codex Dark Angels, Codex Black Templars, Codex Blood Angles and Codex Space Wolves)


Undivided We Stand: The Soul reapers detest the though of becoming single-minded minions of any particular Chaos God. Because of this the Soul Reapers make very limited use of the Cults of Chaos. A Soul Reapers army my only contain one unit of Berzerkers, Rubric Marines, Noise Marines, or Plague Marines for every HQ model in the army. Cult marines never count as the compulsory troops selections.


Icons of Chaos: The Soul Reapers make no use of icons dedicated to the Chaos Gods. They may only take the Icon of Chaos Glory as listed in the Codex Chaos Space Marine.


Listed below are the Units from Codex Chaos Space Marines with the changes to their entry. Any unit not listed below is used as they are listed in the Codex Chaos Space Marines.



HQ


All the Special Characters and the Daemon Prince entry in the Chaos Space Marine Codex are not available to a Soul Reapers army.

Chaos Lord: Gains Ancient Enemies

Chaos Sorcerer: Gains Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies

Elite

Chaos Chosen Space Marines: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.

Chaos Terminators: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.

Possessed Chaos Space Marines: Roll for their Daemonkin abilities at the beginning of the game before deployment.

Troops

Chaos Space Marines: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.

Fast Attack

Chaos Raptors: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.

Chaos Bikes: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, and the point value drops from 35 to 28 points per model.

Chaos Spawn: Gain the Feel no Pain special rule for no additional cost.

Heavy Support

Chaos Havocs: Gain Fear is for the Weak and Ancient Enemies, they are otherwise unchanged.


Soul Reaper Special Characters

Titus the Butcher

The Daemon Prince Titus the Butcher started out as the second in command of the World Eaters seventeenth Grand Company. He was and is still the armored fist of Lord Krüg, when there is something impossible to do Titus is unleashed to resolve the problem.

Titus earned the title the Butcher and ascended to Princedom on the planet Lambosia on the far Eastern Fringe. It was during a campaign to reclaim one of the Salmora artifacts, that Titus was tasked with holding the Star Phantom Space Marines back while the Sorcerer Xusia preformed the rituals to locate the artifact. Titus lead an elite unit of Reavers from Lord Krügs handpicked Terminator bodyguard into a mountain pass to bock the path of the Star Phantoms. During the fight the Reavers were whipped out and Titus was left surrounded by the lackeys of the Emperor. He had already been mortally wounded, but refused to succumb to his wounds and fail Lord Krüg. Titus grabbed a second power sword from one of his fallen comrades and proceeded to charge headlong into the remaining Star Phantoms. When the dust settled the Star Phantoms were either dead or routing from the field, Titus collapsed knowing that his task was complete.

As he lay there dying he heard the whispers of the Dark Gods. They were pleased with his dedication and the carnage he had done to his foes. They offered him untold power and a chance to fight again exacting his revenge on the Imperium for the greater glory of Chaos. He accepted the offer and rose up as a mighty Daemon Prince of Chaos.


Titus the Butcher
Daemon Prince: 200 points



War Gear:
Personal Icon
The Butchers Blade

Special Rules:
Fearless
Eternal Warrior
5+ invulnerable save
Feel no Pain
Fleet

The Butchers Blade: is a massive Chaos runesword carried by the Daemon Prince Titus. His brutality is know and feared throughout the Eastern Fringe. Titus can usually be found standing atop a pile of corpses in the middle of the enemy lines. He is very good at cutting large groups of his foes down with one mighty swing of the Butchers Blade.

To represent this in the game Titus may give up his normal attacks to make single strength 5 attack against all enemy non-vehicle models in base contact. This is an all or nothing attack with a single die roll to hit; if there are multiple WS’s involved the roll to hit is against the highest WS. If successful roll to wound; with the wounds allocated among those models in base contact with Titus.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mercenaries in 40k


Have you ever just picked up a random box of miniatures for an army you don’t have, on a whim because you thought they were groovy only to have the box years later collecting dust on your gaming shelf?

I have a box of Kroot and three blisters of Kroot hounds that I picked up upon the initial Tau release. I absolutely love the alien look of them, I had even debated building a Kroot Mercenary army when the article first appeared in WD.

I have been working on more background material for the Soul Reapers. I have made mention that the Reapers use Stygian Mercenaries to scout planets prior to an attack or raid. I think I have finally found a use for my Kroot.

Does anyone else think that Mercenaries are sorely missing from 40k? I think it could be a fantastic stand alone army or allies list that would add a lot of flavor to some of the existing armies. Hell they would be great for scenario and campaign games. The only armies I see that would not use for mercenaries are Imperial Marines, Tyranids, and Necrons.

Think of all the groovy conversions that could be done! Mercenaries would be a modelers dream army, the combination's of WFB and 40k bits would be almost limitless.

So, what if I add a 0-1 choice of Stygian Mercenaries to the Soul Reapers Min-dex as a fast attack selection? Using the Kroot stats and entry right out of the Tau Empire book minus the Krootox riders; then add the option for them to take a teleport homer for 40 points.

I'm really thinking that a Mercenary army list will be my next major side project for 40k once my Soul Reapers mini-dex is completed.

Thoughts or comments welcome.

Jim

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Soul Reapers SC 1: Titus the Butcher




Updated 12/03/09

The Daemon Prince Titus the Butcher started out as the second in command of the World Eaters seventeenth Grand Company. He was and is still the armored fist of Lord Krüg, when there is something impossible to do Titus is unleashed to resolve the problem.

Titus earned the title the Butcher and ascended to Princedom on the planet Lambosia on the far Eastern Fringe. It was during a campaign to reclaim one of the Salmora artifacts, that Titus was tasked with holding the Star Phantom Space Marines back while the Sorcerer Xusia preformed the rituals to locate the artifact. Titus lead an elite unit of Reavers from Lord Krügs handpicked Terminator bodyguard into a mountain pass to bock the path of the Star Phantoms. During the fight the Reavers were whipped out and Titus was left surrounded by the lackeys of the Emperor. He had already been mortally wounded, but refused to succumb to his wounds and fail Lord Krüg. Titus grabbed a second power sword from one of his fallen comrades and proceeded to charge headlong into the remaining Star Phantoms. When the dust settled the Star Phantoms were either dead or routing from the field, Titus collapsed knowing that his task was complete.

As he lay there dying he heard the whispers of the Dark Gods. They were pleased with his dedication and the carnage he had done to his foes. They offered him untold power and a chance to fight again exacting his revenge on the Imperium for the greater glory of Chaos. He accepted the offer and rose up as a mighty Daemon Prince of Chaos.


Titus the Butcher
Daemon Prince of Chaos 165 points

He has the same stat line as a Daemon prince in the Codex Chaos Space Marines

War Gear:
Personal Icon
The Butchers Blade

Special Rules:
Fearless
Eternal Warrior
5+ invulnerable save
Feel no Pain
Fleet

The Butchers Blade is the massive sword carried by the Daemon Prince Titus. His brutality is know and feared throughout the Eastern Fringe. Titus can usually be found standing on a pile of corpses in the middle of the enemy lines. He is very good at cutting large groups of his foes down with one mighty swing of the Butchers Blade.

To represent this in the game Titus may give up his normal attacks to make single strength 5 attack against all enemy non-vehicle models in base contact. This is an all or nothing attack with a single die roll to hit; if there are multiple WS’s involved the roll to hit is against the highest WS. If successful roll to wound; with the wounds allocated among those models in base contact with Titus.



Feedback is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Looking for an Artist: Soul Reapers Update III



I’m looking for an artist who’d be willing to donate their time to make me a gritty cover for my Soul Reapers Mini-dex. I don’t have the funds to pay for the artwork, but I’d be willing to paint an HQ model to my top standards as compensation.

What I’d really like is Lord Krüg on the cover (WIP pic above) with a couple of Chaos Terminators on either side of him.

If you are interested feel free to contact me through my Blogger profile.

Mini-dex update:

I have run a few Playtest games with the proposed rules changes for the Soul Reapers and things are going pretty smoothly. I’m going to drop the stubborn rule for something else it’s just too powerful when combined with the Icon of Chaos Glory; plus I don’t want to rewrite the rules for the Icon of Chaos Glory.

The thing that is giving me the most trouble is the points costs for the Soul Reapers Special Characters. What I think I am going to do is find an existing 40k SC and modify him to fit the Character in the background then use the points from the SC as a baseline and tweak them as necessary. Do you guys think this is the best way to build a custom SC?

Thanks,
Jim

Friday, October 2, 2009

Soul Reapers Special rules Mk II


This is a revised list of Soul Reapers special rules. The original version of Fear is for the Weak just wasn't sitting right with me. So I revised it and added the poor mans Fearless with the addition of the Stubborn USR. These three rules really feel like the right fit for the Soul Reapers.

The following special rules apply to all Soul Reaper units chosen from the following entries in the Codex Chaos Space Marines.

Chaos Sorcerers
Chaos Chosen Space Marines
Chaos Terminators
Chaos Space Marine
Chaos Raptors
Chaos Bikes
Chaos Havocs

Fear is for the weak: Soul Reapers automatically pass all tests to regroup, they can make such tests even if the squad has been reduced less than half strength through casualties. Usually squads that regroup cannot move and count as moving, but these restrictions do not apply to units with this rule.

Stubborn: Soul Reapers have been serving the Dark Gods of Chaos for ten millennia and know that they frown upon weakness. Because of this the Soul Reapers have the stubborn special rule found on page 76 of the MRB.


Predictable: The Soul Reapers have been fighting their loyalist brothers for ten thousand years and have become accustomed to their combat doctrines. Because of this all Soul Reapers are subject to the Predictable rule, when fighting any Space Marines loyal to the Emperor. In the assault phase the Soul Reapers may re-roll any to hit dice that have a one as a result.

Edit
I have changed out the preferred enemy USR for the Predictable special rule to tone down the effects on in game balance.

Not Enough Terrain Syndrome or NETS


Disclaimer: the table pictured above as an example has about 30% terrain on it, if you remove two of the forest sections then it would be close to 25%.

I’ve been planing to do this article for a while now, I’d like to thank Magilla over at The Art of 40K War for re-igniting the fire with his excellent post on terrain.

Do you feel that if you lose the first turn you are at a disadvantage?

Are you constantly fielding transports that you never deploy from, because the troops inside will just disappear if they don’t have the armored shell?

Do those Assault troops ever make it into combat or are they shot to pieces before they get to turn two?

Are those long ranged support units shooting you with clear shots to most of your deployment zone, while sitting at the back edge of theirs?


If you answered yes to more than one of these questions then your gaming group may be suffering from a severe case of Not Enough Terrain Syndrome or NETS?

Are you sure that you are using the amount of terrain suggested on page 88 of the MRB? The MRB suggest that roughly twenty five percent of the table should be covered in terrain.

Next time you go for a game try filling a quarter of the playing surface with varied terrain pieces. Then spread them out one at a time with your opponent. Then if the table looks like it does any other game you play congratulations you have been adhering to the rules suggested in the MRB.

If it feels like too much terrain then you my friend have a severe case of NETS. Don’t feel bad though because you are not alone. I’d venture to say that 85 percent of tournaments and gaming stores get it wrong all the time. I don’t completely begrudge them for creating this problem, as terrain is expensive to by and time consuming to build.

It still doesn’t change the fact that they are skewing how the game is played. My suggestion is to do what I am doing locally, ask for more terrain on the tables. There are a few ways to accomplish this, first offer to help organize a terrain building day to get more available. Second get the local guys to help out by bringing in a single tables worth of terrain to be used in the events of the day.

Trust me it is worth the effort to get the proper amount of terrain on the table. It helps bring better tactics into the game and it might just convince you to change up your list a little.

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